MEBANE: Clean-up begins as thousands are still without power - WHLT 22 Connecting the Pine Belt

Clean-up begins in the Piedmont as thousands are still without power

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Workers repair power lines in Orange County. Workers repair power lines in Orange County.
RALEIGH, N.C. -

Some businesses and homes have gotten power back, but thousands in Orange County are still without and it could be Sunday night before it is restored for most.

Duke Energy estimates that many of its 12,423 customers without power in Orange County won't have their electricity restored until 11 p.m. Sunday.

Duke Energy reported 225,000 of its customers were without power Saturday afternoon after snow, sleet and up to a half-inch of ice fell in the Piedmont over the past two days.

The utility reports over half of the people it serves in Alamance, Davidson and Randolph counties don't have electricity.

Michael Ahern and his neighbors lost about 40 trees at their Mebane homes. And while Ahern has power, some of his neighbors still do not.

"I told my wife on Thursday I had a lot of yard work to do this weekend, and apparently I was really right," Ahern joked.

Ahern said the biggest challenge when his power was out was keeping his kids entertained.

"I'm a chef," he said. "We have gas so I made chili for the neighborhood and did skillet cornbread and things like that."

Marti Parker said her power was restored within 36 hours, but that wasn't quick enough to save the contents of her refrigerator.

"We've probably lost everything in the refrigerator, so I need to go to the grocery store this afternoon," Parker said. Still, she remains hopeful because, "I can watch the Carolina game tonight."

While power is slowly restored across the Piedmont, there's still a challenge on the roads. Paths have been cut, but trees still block some lanes.

"I think we're past the worst part of it, other than cleaning it up," Wesley Sorrels said. "You can't fault mother nature. She's going to do what she wants to do."

Gov. Pat McCrory declared a state of emergency for Orange County. It is the first step in getting federal money to help with the cost of emergency services to clear debris and repair any public infrastructure that was damaged.

Temperatures dropped below freezing Saturday morning, creating slick spots. But forecasters say highs in the 60s this weekend should thaw things out.

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Justin Quesinberry

Justin is a reporter for WNCN and a North Carolina native. He has spent the better part of the last decade covering the news in central North Carolina.  More>>

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